Sunday, August 17, 2008

Squash Runners

I like to find things I've never cooked before.

Union Square's Greenmarket is full of them this summer. Bush basil. Cuban basil. Purslane. Chicory greens. Squash runners.

The woman at the stand did not know how to cook them. "It's a lot of work," she says, and hesitates. I ask if I can eat the leaves. She has no idea.

I google squash runners. I am the world's worst internet searcher, so I end up with people who run and play squash or who eat squash and then run. Then I figure out how to search the phrase and add 'cook.' Bam.

Sicilian. Leaves from a plant that produces a nearly flavorless squash. Cook up a soup with tomatoes and basil and sprinkle in some romano and it's like a tonic. Room-temperature, they say. Since I prefer piping hot hot things and chilly cold things, I go hot and toss in a handful of cheese. Yum.

Hard to eat through those curly-cues though.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Suddenly it's August at the market ...

The last two months have been crazy for many reasons chronicled here, but nothing that can't be fixed by a trip to the Greenmarket. 45 minutes and 2 trains later, Liam and I arrive to play it cool on our last day together until he moves here permanently.

I give him the tour I've been giving other friends, full of obnoxious statements that begin 'in Paris they don't have ...' and ending in bags full of kale, chiogga beets, small dark purple eggplant, bush basil, New Jersey raspberries, and even some maple syrup.

We drink yogurt drinks and eat maple candy. Sample blackberries and raspberry preserves and breathe in the sage and Cuban basil and cilantro over the summer Saturday subway stench.

I spend a lot of money - nearly twice what I would spend in Oakland, or in Paris for that matter, but our bags smell great. When we check them at Guitar Center for Liam to buy new strings the girl exhales 'the cilantro is amazing!' and I take some kind of responsibility for picking this up myself and schlepping it back to Brooklyn.

Tonight I will cook the squash runner's with a Sicilian recipe and am still eating my old Zuni favorite of fettuccine with corn and butter - something I wasn't able to have since last summer.

Things are settling down, boxes have been and will be delivered, furniture assembled, and before I know it, Liam will return.

Until then, I'm happy to spend August at the market.